generators, etc....

Discussion of reliability standards has gotten a little vague. To throw
some facts into the confusion:

I once managed to beat our Telco reps hard enough for them to provide actual
numbers. This was after a 4 hour outage on an OC-3 ring that "could self
heal in 50 milliseconds." Ameritech provided the usual mushroom treatment,
but MFS actually quoted their Operations procedure AP2402, which says:

For a DS3 facility 0-50 miles:
Availability on a 12 month period is 99.997%
Error free seconds > 99.992% over 24 hour period (7 seconds/day)
Bit error rate < 2.5*10E-11
"Performance tests shall be conducted at DS-3 level for 72 hours."

Apparently this is copied from AT&T PUB 62411. Cisco gives me the mushroom
treatment, but assuming they shoot for something like 99.992% uptime, a
simple DS3 Internet connection could have no better than 99.98% reliability.
Does anyone even come close to this number? With all of the ATM deployed
recently, I cant imagine any ISP even comes close.

Steve Norton 312-496-4601
VP Operations 312-496-4499 (fax)
InterAccess Co

More importantly, does any NSP or ISP even strive for these kinds of
figures? Do they have manuals which define the quality levels for
different types of service? Do they pressure their equipment suppliers to
provide features which enable this kind of service quality level?

Are any NSP's or ISP's using an ISO 9000 type quality program in their

Michael Dillon - ISP & Internet Consulting
Memra Software Inc. - Fax: +1-604-546-3049 - E-mail: